This site has inspired me to restore my Valiant, I'll be paying as I go, so I know it will take some time and patience. I am thinking I will retain a mostly stock appearance outside but cant decide between using the 400 block I have or to go with a G3 hemi. While I am undecided about the engine/transmission, I am certain that I want an AlterKtion Street-Lynx suspension/disc brakes front and back, and plan on keeping the 8-3/4 rear axle.
I’ll start my post with some background history of the car:
This was the last car my grandparents owned, it had less than 8K miles when it passed into my care. My grandfather was a dentist in Emporia, Kansas, explaining “Doc’s Valiant” (Doc James paid cash for the car along with a trade in, see attached file).
I have owned the car since 1980, except for a momentary lapse of reason when I gave it to my fiancÚ back in 1982. That relationship cratered spectacularly – we never married – and I ended up paying her to get my Valiant back.
Fast forward to 1983 and I find myself involved with a different girlfriend, with whom I end up settling down. We had three children in 5 years’ time, and that Valiant took us to the hospital for each of them to be delivered. Ten years later, in 1993, I’m single again, but at least I still have my Valiant!
I turned the speedometer over three times since I've owned the car, and attempted a partial restoration in 1994 after marrying for the second time. Things didn't work out and I was single again in 1999. I also had to part with the 383/727 out of the Valiant to survive and it has been sitting since 2000.
If you haven't noticed, I cant seem to stay alone too long and later on in 2000 I found myself at an Irish bar, on a Friday the 13th, with a full moon shining and a Czechoslovakian blue grass band playing. As the “Luck O’ the Irish” would have it, I met a pretty redhead at the bar who would put all my previous spousal units to shame and become my third wife.
Thanks for your patience with the history, next up I will post the current state of dissasembly and progress with Doc's Valiant.
This is the 400 Ray Barton machined short block and aluminum Indy SR heads that I have, trying to decide on using them for the Valiant or to go with G3 hemi (I am open for y'all's opinions/comments/suggestions).
Last edited by jjsende; 08-29-2012 at 02:57 PM.
Reason: Adding Images
Damn, I thought I have women problems,,,,,,, I did a 400 block stroked to a 451. One of the best running engines I've ever owned. Easy to slide right into the V over the Gen engine. Now this is thinking about cost factor.If money is not a factor then shoot for the moon.....
Removing the inner fenders was tedious (not something I want to do for a living), but I did win out in the end. I did not take any photo's of that process, nor of the installation of the replacement AMD sheet metal or the addition of a new lower radiator brace from XV Motorsports: http://www.xvmotorsports.com/product...ex.cfm?nPID=20
But, here are some photos of the aftermath and more dissasembly prior to sending the Valiant out to be media blasted/epoxy primered:
I was thankful that Elvis was here to help (he's a pretty big guy), the roller wheels I MacGyver'd up on the front were not spaced out wide enough to match up with the loading ramps on their trailer, so Elvis just lifted the front end up there by his own bad self!
Front floor pans are rusted through and need replacement
Trunk/spare tire floor pan are rusted through and need replacement
Firewall has multiple areas that need to be patched/welded
Passenger side rear fender has been repaired previously and will need body/sheet metal work
The frame has a spot that looks like it is bent from a low speed collision that happened just before the 'divorce sale' back in 1999. Texas Auto Restoration is stongly advising me to take the Valaint to a frame repair shop for evaluation/repair
I will add some photo's of the damaged areas, but for now here is a shot of the passengers side front frame rail that looks bent/damaged.
Here's an email exchange with Bill Reilly asking for his input about the frame damage:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ From: Bill Reilly [mailto:email@example.com] Sent: Friday, August 03, 2012 5:11 PM To: Jeff Sendelbach Subject: Re: K member question
Interesting kink you have there. Well, the k frame holes on an Abody are symmetrical, so if its a perfect rectangle you're gin. It is also a flat plane, don't forget to check for that.
I am working on a 1976 Plymouth Valiant and plan to purchase/use your Alterkation setups front and rear. I just had the body media blasted and primered on a rotisserie, and now I find that there is some slight damage to the frame up front and am concerned that I may have problems with bolting up the new K member kit. I still have the original K member, but am not sure if it is bent/damaged in a way that is not obvious/visible to me.
This weekend I will take measurements of the four bolt holes under the frame that the K member bolts to and see if they are equally spaced or not. Short of that, I was wondering if you have any advice for me?
Texas Auto Restoration recommended a local frame shop that I contacted, here is reply from the frame shop:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ From: Excel Frame & Front End [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] Sent: Friday, August 10, 2012 11:13 AM To: Jeff Sendelbach Subject: Re: FW: K member question
Looking at the pictures that you sent the unibody can be damaged and the K-memeber can be ok. What we can do is repair the unibody and fit the K-memeber for you. Steven Capuozzo ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
My concern is that I intend to go with the Alterktion setup, can anyone advise me as to whether or not to send the Valiant to the frame shop with the original K frame, or should it go with the Alterktion K frame instead? I dont want to make a tactical error at this point in the process that could impact everything else lining up down the road! Here is the advise from the guys at Texas Auto Restoration after informing them that the K frame bolt holes are all equal distance apart:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "as long as the bolt holes in the frame are equal distance apart then I do not need to have the frame straightened..." - i knew the correct answer, however, i did run this by danny. both danny and i are in total agreement that the appropriate procedure to avoid headaches down the road w/ body panel alignment, drivetrain alignment, and wheel alignment would be to get the K-frame and take the chassis and the frame to a reputable frame shop. no if's, and's, or but's.
So, to all ya'll's out there in restoration land, should I send the Valiant to the frame shop with the stock K frame or with the Alterktion frame? Or, does it need to go to the frame shop at all since the K frame holes are all equal distance apart?